When it comes to good property maintenance, getting ready for Christmas requires a slightly different approach to the work you might be doing during the rest of the year. For example, your central heating will be a priority and if you have a fireplace then you will need to ensure this is properly kept. Plus, with all the gadgets and equipment you might be using during the festive season, it's more important than ever to make sure your electrics are in safe working order.
Here are the top five property maintenance tips for making your Christmas home as safe and secure as possible for a genuinely stress-free Christmas.
1. Chop wood in preparation
Many people like to have a fire going during the Christmas period in addition to their central heating. If this is the case in your home, be sure to prepare enough coal or properly sized logs of wood in advance so you don't have to trudge around in the snow or other inappropriate weather condition in a last-minute struggle.
2. Get your chimney swept
Another property maintenance priority for those with working fireplaces will be to clean the chimney. If you regularly use your fire then it is a good idea to get your chimney swept by a professional chimney sweep once a year. Fortunately this job does not usually incur a huge cost and you should be able to get the job done for less than 50 pounds. It will be easier to find someone to sweep your chimney at short notice if you prepare for this in advance rather than waiting for the inevitable glut of people calling for chimney sweeps just as the weather turns cold.
3. Get your boiler serviced
Central heating is the last thing you will want to worry about over Christmas. As with getting your chimney swept, getting your boiler serviced will be easier before it starts to get really cold. You may even find prices are lower if you prepare well in advance of when you need to use your central heating. You may also want to consider upgrading your boiler - some of the new lines of boilers might save you as much as 30 per cent on your gas bills and they are generally less likely to break down than an older model.
4. Get your electrics checked
Over Christmas you are likely to be using an increased amount of appliances such as Christmas lights, increased use of cooking appliances etc, so it's important to make sure that this won't overload an already damaged system. Get your electrics checked by a certified electrician - this will ensure your electrics are in safe working order and you will find out if there are any electrics-related property maintenance issues you need to address.
5. Improve your insulation
Central heating is expensive and you can also help the environment simply by making sure your home is properly insulated. One simple check is to find out if your pipes are well insulated - this is also an important property maintenance measure as it will prevent them bursting during a cold spell at Christmas.